From the most prominent tech forum, Delta Air Lines today announced partnerships with the Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code as part of the airline’s efforts to seek diversity, create equity and increase representation, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. The partnerships, announced at CES 2020, will further Delta’s strategy of promoting gender diversity by removing barriers, creating hiring pipelines and supporting community programs.
“Our work goes beyond connecting place to place; we connect people to people. That means ensuring our workforce reflects the diversity of the customers we serve,” said Debbie Wheeler, Delta’s Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer.
The tech and aviation industries experience similar diversity gaps. Through strategic partnerships with the Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code, Delta is working to play a role in solving systemic underrepresentation across industries.
“Working together, we can change what engineers, scientists, tech programmers, pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians look like in the future,” Wheeler said.
A path to equity
Delta’s partnership with the Society of Women Engineers, which is focused on empowering women to succeed in engineering and technology, will enable streamlined hiring and recruiting of women in STEM roles at the airline. The partnership will help Delta to improve its gender diversity by reaching qualified professionals with more than three years of experience. Delta will fund tech conferences and career fairs from the U.S. to India, creating opportunities for women with unique voices in STEM.
“The Society of Women Engineers is thrilled to partner with Delta to advance our mission. Since women represent just 13% of the engineering workforce, it’s vital that we work with leading employers like Delta to improve the retention and advancement of women engineers and technologists. Through this partnership, Delta is making a strong commitment to improving gender diversity in the STEM workforce,” said Karen Horting, Executive Director and CEO, Society of Women Engineers.
While Delta is investing in women who have already shattered ceilings and are ready for hire now, the airline is also developing a path for the next generation to build on their progress.
In partnership with Girls Who Code, Delta women in IT will be matched with students to provide mentoring that deepens their computer science skills as well as develops their confidence. Delta will also participate in two Girls Who Code signature events for “speed mentoring” and industry recruiting, as well as community-building programs through the nonprofit’s sisterhood of peers and role models.
“Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in tech and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does,” said Dr. Tarika Barrett, Chief Operating Officer of Girls Who Code. “And our work would not be possible without the support of incredible partners like Delta, who help us bring more girls into computer science education and, ultimately, more young women into the tech workforce.”
The Society of Women Engineers and Girls Who Code are Delta’s latest investments in gender diversity. The airline is above the U.S. national average in representation, currently employing women in 33% of IT jobs and working to drive that number upward.
The airline’s “SHE Leads IT” program creates a network of allies in IT to provide leadership development for women leaders. Delta’s SHE Business Resource Group is another place for employees to engage in conversations about women in the workplace and serve as consultants to Delta on topics that predominantly affect women. Additionally, Delta supports community organizations like Women in Aviation International, National Council of Negro Women, CARE and Atlanta’s Women Foundation. The airline has flown over 600 girls in its annual all-women WING Flight to expose them to careers in STEM fields and aviation.
Partnerships with women-based organizations are just one example of Delta’s overarching efforts to seek diversity, promote inclusion and drive accountability within its employees and customers. The airline recognizes that reflecting the world are core to its mission of connecting people to each other. Delta focuses on strategic initiatives through community programs, a robust 20-year supplier diversity program, and internal and external pipelines that aim to remove economic, racial and gender barriers. Delta’s commitment to equity is supported by achieving 100% pay parity and tracking progress toward long term goals of increasing gender and racial diversity. Delta’s senior cross-divisional Diversity & Inclusion Council ensures these goals are embedded throughout the organization by evaluating corporate and divisional metrics, programs and proposals.
As a “Best Workplace for Diversity,” Delta has been recognized as a “Best Workplace for Women” by Great Place To Work® and Fortune for three years in a row, “Top-Rated Workplaces for Veterans” by Indeed, and “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
About the Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers, founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.
About Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their seven-week Summer Immersion Program, after school Clubs, and College Loops program, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached 185,000 girls to date through its programs and 100 million people through campaigns, advocacy work, and New York Times best-selling series.
To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com. Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.
Delta is the U.S. global airline leader in products, services, innovation, reliability and customer experience. Powered by its 80,000 people around the world, the airline serves nearly 200 million people every year on more than 5,000 daily departures across its industry-leading global network to more than 300 destinations in over 50 countries. Diversity and Inclusion is core to Delta’s culture and Delta believes it should be reflected in its people, the companies with which it does business, the way it treats customers and the manner in which it serves the world. As an employer, Delta has been regularly awarded top honors from organizations like Glassdoor and recognized as a top workplace for women and members of the military. Delta CEO Ed Bastian was named among the “World’s Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine in 2018.